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Great Ethiopian Run – 24 November 2013

The 10km Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa on 24 November will literally be an ‘eye-opening’ adventure for the runners taking part in support of ORBIS, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to saving sight worldwide.

ORBIS is on a mission to eliminate preventable blindness throughout the world and is hard at work here in South Africa and Ethiopia doing exactly that. Since 1982 ORBIS has worked in 90 countries, enhanced the skill of over 330,000 health care professionals and helped establish services that have provided quality eye care to more than 23.3 million people, 7 million of which were children.

ORBIS has been partnering with the Great Ethiopian Run to raise funds for their sight-saving work for the past five years. Last year 41 runners from Ireland, UK and South Africa took part, jointly raising R568 878 whilst having an unforgettable experience.

The Great Ethiopian Run was started in 2001 by legendary marathon runner Haile Gebrselassie. Since then it has become Africa’s biggest road race with over 36 000 participants. At over 2 300 metres above sea-level it is also one of the highest road races in the world. It is renowned for its great vibe, as a river of runners in matching t-shirts cascade through the streets of this high-altitude African city.

As well as running the 10km race, the ORBIS team will visit the Entoto Mountains, enjoy a traditional Ethiopian meal, meet Haile Gebrselassie and see for themselves the impact ORBIS is making with a visit to Addis Ababa’s ORBIS Paediatric Eye Care Centre.

How much to take part? Every ORBIS runner commits to raising a minimum of R25 000: that is a contribution of R10 000 for ORBIS’s fundraising efforts plus R15 000 to cover the full travel package which includes: economy flights between Johannesburg and Addis Abba; airport transfers, four nights 4-star accommodation at the Addis Hilton; meals (breakfasts and dinners); race entry and kit; a tour to the Entoto mountains; a year’s subscription to Runner’s World magazine; a goodie bag.

“Ethiopia is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and the race through Addis was one of the most exhilarating I’ve done. The atmosphere – with 36 000 fellow runners – was incredible,” said Paula Wilson who ran the race for the first time in 2012. “It was truly a privilege to raise funds for ORBIS. Even here in South Africa, where we have some world-class medical facilities, many children go blind simply because they do not receive the right care at the right time. By improving paediatric eye care services and creating awareness of the importance of timely intervention, ORBIS is helping prevent a lifetime of blindness.”

To sign up for this eye-opening challenge or find out more please contact Joni Watson on 021 447 7135 or or visit or Twitter @orbisafrica / #runORBIS.


Image courtesy of Marianne Schwankhart

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